By Thomas N. Bisson

This assortment is a extraordinary instance of ways the cultural historical past of the center a long time could be written in phrases that fulfill either the historian and the literary student. John Benton's wisdom of the group of workers, constitution and finance of medieval courts complemented his figuring out of the literature they produced.

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58 The composition is often dated about 1165, but there is not enough evidence to justify such precision. Frederick Cowper has devoted much of his scholarly life to the study of Gautier d’Arras and his works, and has pointed out the likelihood that the poet was a wellknown officer of the same name at the court of Flanders. This Gautier d’Arras, 56 Karl Bartsch, Chrestomathie de Vancien français, 12th d . by Leo Wiese (reprinted New York, 1951), song 43,11. 37~41. More variant readings are given in Hans Spanke, Eine altfranzösische Liedersammlung, Romanische Bibliothek, 22 (Halle, 1925), #cix, pp.

A thorough search of the charters of Henry and Marie has failed to turn up any mention of any person named Chrtien . This absence should not surprise us, since, as has been said, few other authors appeared often at the court, and then not simply because they were authors. In view of Chretien’s dedication of his Perceval to Count Philip of Flanders it may also be noted that no one has found any trace of the author’s name in the numerous documents of the court of Flanders. Since Marie was involved in the composition of Lancelot, one might expect the poem to be of great value as an indication of her literary and social ideas.

56 This may be translated as "Sister countess, may he to whom I appeal, and through whom I am made prisoner, save and guard for you your sovereign worth. " Marie of Champagne and Alix of Blois and Chartres were Richard’s half-sisters, and were at that time the only sisters who were countesses. The final two lines are clear enough in denying any concern for Alix, who was the mother of Louis of Blois, but the address to Marie is less easily understood. As it stands the text asks that someone to whom Richard appealed and through whose actions he had been captured might protect Marie.

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